Mere weeks after Apple launched the AirPods 2, its Beats division enters the market with new H1 chip-enabled wireless earbuds called the Powerbeats Pro. These aren't just an upgraded version of the old Powerbeats, but rather a complete redesign that offers better battery life, more snug and customizable fit, and better sound than the AirPods 2.
What's the latest on Powerbeats Pro?
April 29, 2019: Powerbeats Pro pre-orders said to begin May 3; in stores May 10
According to a new report from 9to5Mac, pre-orders for the new Powerbeats Pro truly wireless earbuds will begin this Friday, May 3. The headphones will apparently hit stores the following week, on Friday, May 10:
While it appears that you will be able to pre-order any of the four color schemes of Powerbeats Pro with ordering starts, only the black models will initially be available at launch. The Ivory, Moss, and Navy models are set to ship later this summer.
The new earbuds from Beats still feature an around-the-ear design that is bound to keep the earbuds on your head and not fall out even during the most rigorous workouts, but unlike the older model, the Powerbeats Pro headphones are completely wireless with no neck cord in sight.
The Powerbeats will ship with four different size ear tips that you can pop onto the earbuds, which should allow you to get the snuggest and most comfortable fit, and allow for the best sound isolation from outside noise so ensure you're hearing your tunes and not the outside world.
The Powerbeats Pro features the same H1 chip that the AirPods 2 have, meaning you're going to be able to enjoy the same speedy, almost instant, connection to any iOS device. Take the Powerbeats Pro out of the charging case and boom, just like that you're paired up and ready to go.
Not only does the H1 chip provide an awesome connection and power optimizations (more on that later), but it also allows for the Powerbeats Pro to have "Hey, Siri" compatibility, meaning you can invoke Apple's assistant easily and hands-free at any time to help you with many different tasks.
Unlike the AirPods 2, Powerbeats Pro have opted for physical controls on the earbuds to control playback, rather than having any touch gestures. The Volume buttons on the top of the earbuds (showcased in the image above on the left) and the "b button" (showcase in the image above on the right) are on both the left and right earbuds, to ensure that, if you're only using one bud at a time, you still have all the available controls to you. Plus, the sensor located on the inside of the earbud (showcased in the center image up above) can detect when the Powerbeats Pro headphones are in your ears or not, so audio will pause playback when you remove one earbud and resume playing once you put it back in your ear.
Battery life and charging case
Much like AirPods and other truly wireless earbuds, the Powerbeats Pro comes with a charging case that holds an additional 24 hours of charge for the earbuds. What's most impressive is that Beats is citing a 9-hour playback battery life on the earbuds themselves which is more than the AirPods 2, Jabra Elite 65t, and other competitors.
The charging case will charge with a Lightning cable and does not come with wireless charging; however, putting the earbuds into charging case will give you 1.5 hours of playback after just 5 minutes of charging and up to 4.5 hours after 15 minutes of charging, according to Beats.
Water and sweat resistant
Much like the other version of Beats, the company cites that the Powerbeats Pro earbuds are water and sweat resistant; however, they haven't provided an IP rating or any other official designation. They do make it clear that the Powerbeats Pro headphones are not meant to be submerged for any period of time, and have stated that the new design is "reinforced design for sweat and water resistance."
Cost and availability
The new Powerbeats Pro will cost you $249.95 and come in ivory, black, navy, and moss. They are scheduled to be released in May of 2019. As of right now, you can't pre-order the PowerBeats Pro.
Beats to beat
Water-resistant and H1 chip wireless earbuds
With a cited nine hours of battery life, the ability to listen to each earbud separately, super fast and seamless pairing, and Hey, Siri compatibility, the Powerbeats Pro promise to offer everything you love about the AirPods, but with water-resistance, a snugger fit, and better sound to boot!
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Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
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